Crushing Codependency: Love Bombs and Red Flags
Crushing Codependency: Love Bombs and Red Flags
CODEPENDENCY ALERT from the whip of the AstroFLOTUS
Have you ever been in a codependent relationship?
“Within six weeks he told me he was eyeballing engagement rings in my size.”
“She and I had this immediate connection the first time we hung out. Since then, we’ve spent pretty much every day together.”
“He rescued me from my previous boyfriend and whisked me off on tour with him and his band. Our second day on the road, he got all nervous, threw up out of his car window while driving (I held the wheel), and told me he was in love with me.”
“The first time we made eye contact, I instantly knew they were The One.”
“In the first phone conversation we had, he told me his credit score, his salary, and how much he had paid for his new condo after he asked to take me out.”
“She began molding me to act like her wife the second time I ever went over to her place.”
“After the first time we had sex, he said, ‘let me know when you’re ready to be a mother.’”
LOVE BOMB LOVE BOMB LOVE BOMB LOVE BOMB.
In his book The Human Magnet Syndrome: Why We Love People Who Hurt Us, psychotherapist Ross A. Rosenberg writes:
“Codependency is akin to a disorder of selflessness, passivity, and personal powerlessness. Codependent people are "others-oriented" and provide excessive amounts of Love, Respect and Care for their partners, who are "self-oriented" and demand excessive amounts of LRC for themselves that they are patently unable to provide to another.”
Partners who are “self-oriented” are often Cluster B Emotional Manipulators, who can fall under one or many sub-categories such as overt or shy, somatic or cerebral narcissist, histrionic, borderline, antisocial, or even an outright psychopath.
The Cluster B personality is neurotically obsessed with power and domination. Thus, these personalities are actually fragile, delusional and anxious and have to subconsciously manipulate to get their needs met.
Early in a dating period, these people “love bomb” you - taking you out to nice restaurants, showering you with expensive gifts, pretending to agree with you on your values and goals in life (when they have no receipts), and finding out who hurt you and how so they can present themselves as The Answer to all your pain. There is a lot of future-faking, where they paint a picture of happily ever after, and rush you into exclusive commitment immediately because they just "love" you SO much.
In reality, they are saying these things to “kidnap” you into their illusory reality. They are looking for someone they can manipulate and criticize so they can feel good about themselves.
Eventually, when you present a boundary, they bulldoze over it or manipulate you to get you to give in. When you correct or criticize them in any way (when they are the actual perpetual critics), they experience narcissistic injury which turns into rage, so they turn the focus of discussion back on YOU.
Codependent Case Study
A woman in her mid-20s recently asked for advice about the man she had been dating for just under two months. Though they lived far apart, they spoke on the phone every day for hours. He was “perfect on paper” with a great career, home, and no children, and their connection was so intense that he was even wooing her with marriage talk.
One day, they had a basic disagreement about scheduling a date and he became distant, cold, and short with her for an entire week. Up until the argument, he’d been showering her with 24/7 attention and affection; shouting her praises from the rooftops to all who would listen. “What should I do?” she asked.
We often see Emotional Manipulators build up this life of great material things to draw in potential partners who also serve as fuel to them. Like the man from the opening quotes who shared the his salary and credit score in the first conversation, he was relying on external things to demonstrate his worth instead of coming from the heart to make a connection from a space of vulnerability.
Emotional Manipulators put you on an impossible pedestal of perfection. This is why they move so quickly in relationships -- they want to get you invested FAST so that by the time the narc mask slips off after the honeymoon period of several months, you're already enmeshed with them and struggle to leave.
Every couple will have disagreements. This is a sign of healthy relating. So for the man to be treating the woman so differently after their first argument showed the narcissistic traits cracking through. He'd been love bombing her. As she showed her humanity and shared a boundary, he had to now see that she wasn’t the flawless, all-agreeable source of fuel for his egoic needs for external validation. (Hint: no one is.)
When two people meet who have similar core wounds, there comes an instant amazing connection and feeling of wow this is my soulmate! This can be great for platonic relating and building a friendship, but if you jump right in to a commitment and claim someone as Your Special Person immediately, that is demonstrative of a match of deficiencies, rather than a match from wholeness.
If both parties were truly whole within themselves, they wouldn't be immediately relying on a relative stranger to fulfill all their emotional needs right away. They would have support from their already strong circles of friends and family, and feel safe to take their time in getting to know their potential love connection.
When You Feel Low, Go High with the AstroFLOTUS
Emotional manipulators, especially narcissists or those with borderline personality disorder, leave their victims feeling exhausted, confused, gaslit and walking on eggshells waiting for the next blowout. Just when you’ve given them what they say they want, they shift their goalposts so you end up jumping through hoops to try and satisfy them. There is no winning, and the goal is to siphon your energy since they are emotionally defunct and feel they require fuel from others to validate their existence and worthiness.
It is not your fault that you got caught up in the whirlwind cyclone, just as it is not your fault that events of your childhood led you to believe dysfunctional partnership is acceptable.
But you do have the power to learn about why you dealt with shitty behavior to begin with so you never do it again. This is a case of “it doesn’t matter where you got your baggage from; it’s yours to deal with and put down now.”
We can only blame our childhoods for so long before we correct our errors in thinking that any one special relationship can bring us the joy that is only found within one’s connection to Self and Spirit.
I’ve a wealth of firsthand knowledge from over the course of my adult life, having participated in many long- and short-term relationships before and after my marriage, true to Gemini form (we are constantly collecting information and transforming through one-on-one connections). All relationships are assignments, and I've learned tremendous lessons from each of them, however painful and traumatic some of them may have been.
The important thing is that I can clearly see how and why I chose those experiences, as well as understanding why I signed up for and subjected myself to less than stellar treatment in many ways.
I've traversed the underworld, embraced and integrated my demons, and have emerged renewed with the experience of knowing why many of my connections inevitably did not serve my highest expansion.
Taking responsibility for MY roles in every matter helped me to look back and recognize the importance of maintaining boundaries and structure in partnership. Visiting the underworld led me to do the work to transform my self-sacrificing errors in thinking, find great joy in being alone, and liberate myself to receive all the abundance life has to offer.
In Gemini messenger form, it is my prime directive to bring the gems from deep within. Through an astrological framework, I can assist others who have experienced codependency in relationships with emotional manipulators.
Visit my AstroServices page to book a Power in Partnership session with me! Save 20% for a limited time with code LOVEBOMB.
If you are feeling unsure about a connection you have, peep this Red Flags Checklist from the Relationship Coaching Institute and let's talk.
Next week we’ll discuss more aspects of unhealthy relationship cycles and explore the areas of trust, communication, vulnerability, freedom, aloneness, and more productive ways to engage with others.
Subscribe to the AstroFLOTUS Cabinet to receive updates of new blogs, video content and live broadcasts as I continue this series on codependency and relationships.
Tune in to my Crushing Codependency Facebook Live broadcast with my fellow Gemini astrotwin, Colin Bedell of Queer Cosmos Saturday, Jan. 27 at 10 AM EST/9 AM CST at Facebook.com/mizChartreuse.